Femintimacy: Confessions of a Serial Orgasm Faker

I think I’m a self-proclaimed serial orgasm faker because I’m a little bit afraid of my vagina. I’m afraid of its power and capacity for pleasure. I’m afraid of the intimidating dark cavity that I was barely ever taught about in high school. I was taught a lot about what it looked like internally, showed many diagrams that looked like alien brains, but I was never taught about its external appearance, and never about pleasure.

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Ava DuVernay's "Queen of Sugar" Sets Precedent for Women of Color Behind the Scenes

Ava DuVernay's television show, "Queen Sugar," is the first to hire a majority of women behind the scenes, with every director hired being a woman. DuVernay is hiring women, especially women of color, who have not been given a shot in the Hollywood world, often due to what they call a "lack of experience." Director of photography Kira Kelly has said that "Queen of Sugar" is a "place where women were and are being encouraged to be artists and do wonderful work."

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For Mary Pratt, Life is Beautiful

Through her works artist Mary Pratt called attention to the small beauties in domestic life. Throughout her career, Pratt would receive praise from women who claimed her paintings added a sense of heroism to their lives at times when they felt forgotten. Although her fixation on feminine subjects may have hindered her from wider success, Pratt was a wonderful example of the talent of women and a champion for the dismissed.

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Director Crystal Moselle on her Film Skate Kitchen

Filmmaker Crystal Moselle was drawn to the voices of teenage skater girls on the subway, which prompted her to make a feature film about them. The all-female skating crew allowed Moselle to see, and then depict in her film, how social media can help girls find their "tribe," especially in a world where female skaters are still difficult to find. She hopes the film also speaks to the way young people, particularly young skaters and young women, offer a new perspective on the city of New York and its architecture.

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Turkey’s Artistic Erasure

Art and politics have always gone hand in hand. So, when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey set out to heel the Turkish art scene, he was met with artistic protests. Although artists previously felt comfortable opposing Erdoğan’s regime, a slew of arrests have caused political activists to become increasingly wary of speaking out against his authoritarianism. Amidst a declining art economy, Turkey’s situation questions art’s role in free speech and the well being of a nation.

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How Aretha Franklin's "Respect" Stirred Social Movements

As the nation grieved the passing of Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, this week, there is reflection on the immeasurable contributions her and her music have provided. "Respect," one of her largest hit songs, became an anthem for marginalized communities in demanding the respect they deserve, especially for black women. Around the time of the Birmingham bombing, an author on NPR is quoted as saying, "With 'Respect,' [Franklin] gave black women an unprecedented voice and visibility."

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“The Dinner Party” and a Few Missing Guests

Judy Chicago’s iconic contribution to feminist art, “The Dinner Party”, has been hailed as the core inspiration for Second-wave feminism. However, it’s flaws reveal the weak points within modern feminism and the importance of historical context. Created before modern progressivism, “The Dinner Party” has been critiqued especially for its approach towards black women and its importance on genitalia in femininity. The controversy around Chicago’s piece invites modern feminists to examine not only their ideology, but themselves.

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Women's March Series

The Women’s March shattered my preconceived image of political protests. We were necessitating and demanding a change. By marching, we represented an active refusal of our society’s current state. A year and a half later, I am grateful that I have photos that illuminate the indescribable energy and momentum of 470,000 people who gathered for the first official Women’s March.

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Mother Fears for Daughter's Safety after Deportation

After fleeing from El Salvador due to domesticated gang violence- both personal and community threats-and seeking asylum in the United States, a mother and daughter were deported with their futures hanging in the balance. The mother spoke of her fear for her daughter's safety, as she had no idea what was waiting for them at the end of the plane ride. Though they were able to stay together and return, as their deportation was an "oversight," the threat to their future security and wellbeing remains.

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The Enduring Friendship of Big Sister, Little Sister

These two women met through their community's chapter of Big Brothers, Big Sisters 15 years ago, and their friendship has endured ever since. After meeting while one had just graduated high school and the other was entering seventh grade, the Little has been in her Big's wedding. The broader support network of Big Brothers, Big Sisters has its success stories in the close relationships it helps form- with these now grown women a shining example.

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Moms Showcase Breastfeeding Around the World

August is National Breastfeeding Month. To celebrate global motherhood and remind society that breastfeeding should never be prohibited, baby brand Lasinoh worked to create a photo series showcasing mothers feeding their children from all around the world. Breastfeeding is a cultural practice and the time a mom spends breastfeeding her child varies by nation. However, breastfeeding is a health issue. The World Health Organization found that 2/3 of children worldwide are not breastfed for 6 months, the time recommended. Additionally, "universal breastfeeding could prevent the deaths of 823,000 children younger than 5 years each year," according to research published in the medical journal The Lancet. 

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Females More Likely to Commit Suicide in UK

UK data alarmingly shows that females are more likely to take their own lives. Traditionally, males have been at an increased risk and more likely to commit suicide, but since 2015, the statistics have reversed. The UK recently passed the Mental Health Act, which is believed to have reduced the number of suicides overall and specifically caused a decrease in male acts. However, upon closer inspection, the bill does little to help girls and woman with serious psychological issues, as many of those in this position have suffered abuse.

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Swim Caps Keep Black Woman in the Shallow End

The black community has been much less involved in water sports and activities due to a number of factors, but one alarming factor may be the possibility of getting their hair wet from swimming. Hair, a source of pride and heritage for black women, is responsible for keeping black women and girls in the shallow end because of something supposedly designed to keep hair dry: swim caps. One may think swim caps could be a solution, but they are almost never large enough to cover an afro nor are they fully repellant. There is a call for diverse caps and inclusive instruction as to how to put them on, as this lack of consideration is prohibiting and discriminating black woman from water-based fitness. 

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Talking to Daughters About What They Wear

With clothing trends going more in the direction of being more revealing, parents are debating how to address concerns of appropriate wear while not body-shaming or slut-shaming their daughters. Different perspectives show a desire to empower their daughters and the anxiety that restricting what they wear will reinforce sexist ideas about sexual assault and harassment, as well as more conservative notions about how girls need to cover up. What seems to be pretty universal, however, is the notion that sensitive language around girls and their bodies is crucial.

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As Iraq’s GDP Falls, Early Marriage Increases

Currently, child advocates are concerned that the recent changes in Iraq’s government will allow early marriage advocates to push bills that support their favored age of consent; therefore, causing already alarming child marriage rates to rise even more. A 2017 study by Oxfam, a global anti-poverty group, found “a direct correlation between the rise of child marriage in Iraq and war-induced poverty and terror.” Many of the victims are so young that they are often uneducated and disempowered. Nuha Oum Ahmed states, “breaking away from the thinking that there is some benefit to girls from child marriage is going to take a long time and will demand a comprehensive approach.”

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Progressive Feminist Group Calls on Democratic Party to Adopt Definition of Antisemitism

Women's March For All (WMFA), a liberal women's rights group, has urged the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to officially define antisemitism. The group feels that a clear definition is essential to combat a rise in anti-Jewish discrimination in the Democratic party and in liberal movements across the world. WMFA feels that liberals who deny Israel's right to exist are anti-Semitic if they are in favor of self-determination for other oppressed groups. 

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Rebuilding Lives in the City of Joy

The City of Joy, located in Bukavu, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is a “transformational leadership community for women survivors of violence.” This community-based program helps women who have been victims of rape and torture due to war in the surrounding areas; the program aims to help them rebuild their lives in order for them to become leaders of their communities. A Netflix documentary by the same name, City of Joy, set to premiere on September 7th, portrays the stories of the many women that make up the City of Joy.

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Lucy Stone: 200 Years of Activism

West Brookfield, Massachusetts is gearing up for Lucy Stone’s 200th birthday celebration.  Lucy was an outspoken activist in the 19th century, both a feminist and an abolitionist. Despite making great progress in their feminist endeavors, Stone and her companions were silenced in audiences that included men. However, Lucy Stone was determined to have women’s voices heard across all areas and shatter the male resistance to feminism.

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Will Tennessee Send Its First Woman to the Senate?

On November 6, Tennessee voters will decide whether to elect the state’s first female senator, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Six other women will have their electoral fates decided on the same day in Tennessee congressional elections. Blackburn and U.S. Rep. Diane Black are the only two Tennessee women currently serving in the U.S. House. Black lost the GOP gubernatorial nomination, so if Blackburn loses her Senate race, the Tennessee House delegation could become all male again.

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Women Will “March to the Polls” in October

The activists responsible for the Women’s March in Chicago this past January are organizing a “March to the Polls 2018.” The March will take place on October 13th, corresponding with the opening of early voting in Illinois. The event aims to engage voters and particularly women, who are “changing outcomes at the ballot box to protect a fragile democracy."

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